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#03-23-2013 - ComFish News Roundup

State Tsunami Test Skipping Kodiak
Mar 22,2013
Brianna Gibbs/KMXT
Next week is Tsunami Preparedness Week, and emergency planners in cities and towns along Alaska’s coastline will urge residents to make sure they know what to do in the event of a tsunami. Kodiak residents are no strangers to this type of preparedness. After all, community members are reminded of tsunamis each Wednesday at 2 p.m. when the siren blasts throughout the borough.....

Board fails proposals to split Tsiu, designate herring as forage
Mar 22, 2013 - 05:18 PM
The Board of Fisheries continued discussing statewide proposals in Anchorage today. The board opted not to add herring to the forage management plan, and did not split up the Tsiu River to separate commercial and sport users. Board members said they wanted to let the community try to address issues on the Tsiu before stepping in, and also acknowledged that the vast majority of public testimony was from people who.....

Upper Cook Inlet Task Force proposals rejected by Board of Fish
Think again
Posted: March 21, 2013 - 9:13pm  |  Updated: March 22, 2013 - 8:41am
By Rashah McChesney
Peninsula Clarion
After months of meetings, thousands of pages of documents and several hours of testimony from user groups in the Upper Cook Inlet, the Alaska Board of Fisheries ultimately voted unanimously to reject a proposal that would have made several changes to the management plan for the late run of Kenai River king salmon. While the board did vote to change the management plan to reflect the Alaska.....

Trident: Russian move to up pollock blocks would cut volumes on market
March 22, 2013, 8:45 am
Tom Seaman
A move from Russia toward increased production of pollock blocks would reduce the volumes on the market, according to a recent presentation given by an executive from US giant Trident Seafoods.....

Essential Air Service to continue for Petersburg, Wrangell through 2015
March 21, 2013
There will no change in Alaska Airlines’ status as the provider of Essential Air Service for Southeast Alaska communities after the U.S. Department of Transportation issued an order in February continuing the EAS through 2015 – and Alaska Airlines will retain the designation as the provider of the service. “On February 11, we issued an order re-selecting Alaska Airlines to provide Essential Air Service in five communities in Southeast....

Study to examine Alaska's Arctic shipping needs
Carey RestinoThe Arctic Sounder
March 22, 2013
The lt. governor's office announced last week that it had commissioned a study to examine shipping in the Arctic on the heels of a recent sea ice study showing that possible unescorted Arctic shipping could be largely possible by 2040. While fewer than 50 vessels reportedly moved through the Northern Sea Route above Russia in 2012, numbers of vessels, many carrying oil, LNG and other energy-related products, is only expected to increase. Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell said China has recently announced it intends to ship some 15 percent of its world trade vessels on Arctic routes in coming years. As a result, Treadwell and others are looking at how this increase could impact the state, both positively in the form of economic improvements.....

OPINION: Salmon habitat protection essential
March 22nd 4:00 pm | Bejamin Jackinsky      
Alaska salmon runs are increasingly threatened. Loss of habitat, poor management and uncertain food supplies are but a few reasons. Some of these things are within our control. Some are not. That's why we need to protect the habitat we know is vital to salmon survivorship. When you look across the globe at the decline of once-proud salmon runs - from Europe to the Pacific Northwest - the one thing we know about our limited understanding of salmon is that they need clean flowing waters and healthy streamside habitats to endure. To maintain the strong and sustainable local economies salmon provide - and to support the unique cultures and...

Coast Guard terminates fishing vessel voyage near Kake, Alaska
Date: March 22, 2013
District 17 Public Affairs Detachment Anchorage
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Naushon terminated the voyage of the fishing vessel Donna Jean near Kake after discovering several safety issues aboard the vessel Friday.

The crew of the Naushon escorted the 40-foot fishing vessel, with five adults and three children aboard, to Kake Harbor.

The crew of the Naushon conducted the boarding in Keku Strait when they discovered the vessel had an expired life raft, insufficient survival suits and inadequate fire suppression equipment. The Donna Jean's crew has been ordered to fix discrepancies in coordination with a commercial fishing vessel examiner prior to getting underway again.

"We perform at-sea safety inspections to ensure mariners are operating in compliance with required standard safety gear regulations, " said Cmdr. Marc Burd, chief of the Sector Juneau response department. “These regulations help ensure the safety of those who work at sea, which is one of our primary missions, and we will take the necessary steps to ensure that safety, including sending a vessel back to port to fix any safety issues."

Free vessel safety checks can be obtained in most Alaska ports by contacting the nearest Coast Guard sector, marine safety detachment or contacting Ken Lawrenson, 17th District commercial fishing vessel safety coordinator. A dockside safety check doesn't exempt mariners from at-sea boardings but it can speed the process along and help ensure any issues have already been addressed before getting underway.

The Coast Guard Cutter Naushon is a 110-foot Island-class patrol boat homeported in Ketchikan.

SEAPA reports highlight Tyee projects
By Greg Knight
March 21, 2013
During the March 5-6 meeting of the SEAPA Board of Directors, the reports of operations manager Steve Henson and special projects director Eric Wolfe highlighted a number of projects and new information related to the Tyee Lake Hydroelectric project. In Henson’s report he began with information on the Wrangell Reactor Replacement project at the powerhouse near Bradfield Canal. “The Wrangell Reactor replacement project management, engineering, and design have been awarded to Electric Power Systems, Inc. (EPS). Completion of the project has been tentatively set for December 2013,” Henson wrote, continuing with.....

Updated March 22, 2013, 12:16 p.m. ET
US Sen. Warren files fishery assistance amendment
Associated Press
BOSTON — U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren is proposing to provide disaster relief funds to Northeast fishermen in the first amendment she's filed since taking office. The amendment introduced by Warren, a first-term Massachusetts Democrat, would allow funds in the 2014 budget to be set aside to aid fishermen around the region. No amounts are specified. Last year, the U.S. Secretary of Commerce declared economic disasters in several fisheries, including the Northeast. Fishermen there who target bottom-dwelling.....

Both houses launch legislation to eliminate USDA catfish inspections
Friday, March 22, 2013, 23:40 (GMT + 9)
A bipartisan group of lawmakers from both the Senate and the House of Representatives are introducing legislation to amend the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act (2008 Farm Bill) that would repeal a “redundant” programme that inspects and grades catfish. US Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), John McCain (R-AZ) and eight others.....

Ocean Beauty Launches New Website
Seattle, WA – Ocean Beauty Seafoods announced today the launch of its redesigned website at The new website reflects the company’s experience and leadership in high quality sustainable seafood, smoked salmon, value-added products, seafood distribution, and Alaska shoreside processing. “Our goals are to make the website easy to navigate and as comprehensive as possible,” said Tom Sunderland, Ocean Beauty’s Vice President of Marketing. “It’s about telling our story and making sure that both consumers and.....

Fraser River sockeye salmon run may be lower than expected, says federal official
MARCH 21, 2013
VANCOUVER - A federal official says this year's Fraser River sockeye salmon run may be lower than expected. Les Jantz, a resources manager with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, says preliminary projections put returns somewhere between 1.6 and 15.6 million fish. He says the working number the department is using is just under five million, and if that's....

Salmon Season Alternatives Adopted For Review
by Dan Bacher
Friday Mar 22nd, 2013 3:59 PM
...... Three alternatives for 2013 ocean recreational and commercial salmon fisheries were adopted for public review at the March Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC) meeting in Tacoma, Washington. Detailed information on these ocean salmon fisheries will be available on the Council website ( in the near future. The Council will make a final decision for all ocean West Coast salmon fisheries for the May 1, 2013 through April 30, 2014 season at its April 5-11, 2013 meeting in Portland, Oregon. For the month of April, the California recreational salmon fishing regulations are as follows.......